LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 11 September 1816

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Keswick, Sept. 11. 1816.
“My dear Bedford,

“Upon mature deliberation, I am clearly of opinion that it would be very imprudent and impolitic for me to receive anything in the nature of emolument from Government at this time, in any shape whatsoever. Such a circumstance would lessen the worth of my services (I mean it would render them less serviceable), for whatever might come from me would be received with suspicion, which no means would be spared to excite. As it concerns myself personally, this ought to be of some weight; but it is entitled infinitely to greater consideration if you reflect how greatly my influence (whatever it may be) over a good part of the public would be diminished, if I
were looked upon as a salaried writer. I must, therefore, in the most explicit and determined manner, decline all offers of this kind; but at the same time I repeat my offer to exert myself in any way that may be thought best. The whole fabric of social order* in this country is in great danger; the Revolution, should it be effected, will not be less bloody nor less ferocious than it was in France. It will be effected unless vigorous measures be taken to arrest its progress; and I have the strongest motives, both of duty and prudence, say even self-preservation, for standing forward to oppose it. Let me write upon the State of Affairs (the freer I am the better I shall write), and let there be a weekly journal established, where the villanies and misrepresentations of the Anarchists and Malignants may be detected and exposed. But all will be in vain unless there be some check given to the licentiousness of the press, by one or two convictions, and an adequate (that is to say) an effectual punishment.

“It would be superfluous to assure you that, in declining any immediate remuneration, I act from no false pride or false delicacy. Proof enough of this is, that at first I was willing to accept it. But I feel convinced that it would (however undeservedly) discredit me with the public. Every effort, even now, is making to discredit me, as if I had sold myself for the Laureateship. While I am as I am, these efforts recoil upon the enemy, and I even derive advantage

* “What think you of a club of Atheists meeting twice a week at an ale-house in Keswick, and the landlady of their way of thinking?”—To C. W. W. Wynn, Esq., Sept. 11. 1816.

Ætat. 43. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 211
from them. Do not argue that I suffer them to injure me if I refuse what might be offered me for fear of their censures. It is not their censures; it is the loss of ostensible independence, however really independent I should be. At present, in defiance of all that malignity can effect, I have a weight of character, and the rascals fear me while they hate me.

“God bless you!

R. S.”